MX23RW : Monday, December 9 11:57:53| >> :600:1359681:1359681:
Nov 22, 2019 at 7.45pm UK at ​Craven Cottage
Attendance: 18,320
QPRQueens Park Rangers
Kamara (27', 64')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Hugill (3')

Preview: Fulham vs. Queens Park Rangers - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Friday's Championship clash between Fulham and Queens Park Rangers, including a prediction, team news and possible lineups.

Seventh will welcome 10th in the Championship on Friday night as Fulham host Queens Park Rangers in the West London derby.

Fulham have 26 points to show from their 16 league matches this season, while QPR sit three positions behind on 24 points ahead of the mouthwatering contest at Craven Cottage.

Match preview

Fulham manager Scott Parker pictured on September 14, 2019© Reuters

Seven wins, five draws and four defeats - that is how Fulham have performed in the Championship this season, collecting 26 points to sit seventh, just three points off fourth-placed Swansea City ahead of Friday's clash in West London.

Scott Parker's side are actually only five points off second-placed Preston North End, and a win against QPR would lead them nicely into another home game with Derby County next Tuesday.

Fulham's task has been made a lot harder, though, by the fact that they will be without leading scorer Aleksandar Mitrovic through suspension. The 25-year-old has scored 12 times in 16 Championship matches this season but picked up his fifth booking of the season against Birmingham City before the international break.

The Cottagers went six games unbeaten in the league between August 30 and October 5 but have lost two of their last five against Stoke City and Hull City, suffering a 3-0 defeat to the latter in their last fixture at Craven Cottage.

Fulham have only lost one of their five Championship clashes with QPR since September 2015, although the points were shared when they last locked horns at Craven Cottage in March 2018.

Queens Park Rangers' Ebere Eze goes down in the penalty area in March 2019© Reuters

Since being relegated from the Premier League at the end of the 2014-15 campaign, it has been a struggle for QPR in the second tier. Indeed, they have finished 12th, 18th, 16th and 19th in their last four seasons and are not considered to be genuine challengers for promotion this term.

The R's have made a solid if unspectacular start, though, picking up 24 points from their 16 matches to sit 10th in the table. A win on Friday night would actually move them above Fulham into seventh, leaving them just one point off the playoffs before the rest of the Championship take to the field this weekend.

QPR's high position in the table is more surprising when considering that they have conceded 30 times in their 16 league matches this season, which is the second-worst record at this stage. Indeed, only bottom-of-the-table Barnsley have shipped more goals during the 2019-20 campaign.

On the flipside, only the top two Preston and West Bromwich Albion have scored more than QPR's 26. Unlike Fulham, the goals have been shared around with Jordan Hugill scoring six, Nakhi Wells eight and Eberechi Eze six, which stands the team in good stead moving forward.

QPR have only actually beaten Fulham once in the Championship and just twice in the league since May 1983. Their last victory in this fixture came at Craven Cottage in October 2016, though, and the capital side have already picked up three away victories in the Championship this term.

Fulham form: DLWDLW


Team News

Aleksandar Mitrovic celebrates scoring a hat-trick for Fulham on October 23, 2019© Reuters

As mentioned, Fulham will be without their leading scorer Mitrovic as the former Newcastle United striker serves a one-match suspension for the West London derby.

Joe Bryan is also a doubt with a back injury, while Maxime Le Marchand is likely to face a late fitness test on the problem he picked up against Birmingham before the international break.

Tom Cairney should come back into the side having missed out against the Blues due to illness, while Bobby Reid could move into a forward area alongside Anthony Knockaert and Ivan Cavaleiro.

As for QPR, Geoff Cameron's late red card against Middlesbrough before the international break means that the defender is suspended for Friday's contest.

Yoann Barbet could return from a hamstring injury to take Cameron's spot in defence, while Hugill is in line to start alongside Wells in the final third of the field.

There are not expected to be many changes from the clash with Boro, though, meaning that the likes of Luke Amos and Dominic Ball should keep their spots.

Fulham possible starting lineup: Rodak; Odoi, Mawson, Ream, Christie; Cairney, Reed, Johansen; Knockaert, B Reid, Cavaleiro

QPR possible starting lineup: Lumley; Kane, Hall, Barbet, Wallace, Manning; Amos, Ball, Eze; Wells, Hugill

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We say: Fulham 1-1 QPR

Mitrovic's absence is huge for Fulham and potentially the difference between three points and one. The league table suggests that Friday's clash will be close and we are finding it difficult to separate the two teams.

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Who will win Friday's Championship clash between Fulham and QPR?

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